The refrigeration industry has a variety of competency exams and certification tests for technicians. Taking these exams can be beneficial because they can help identify areas of weakness or strength and allow technicians to gauge their understanding of the equipment they service. They also help to demonstrate their commitment and focus on becoming a better technician.

Technicians taking certification exams should not do so lightly. Most technicians will need to do some type of preparation, as many exams cover a lot of theory. A good idea is to take plenty of practice tests whenever possible. These free practice exams will generally not have the exact questions as the real exam, but they serve as a benchmark. Also, do not wait until the last minute to study. We all live busy lives, and sometimes there is simply not enough time in a day to get everything done. But if you are serious about passing these exams, you need to study and be ready.

When preparing for an exam, make sure you use the resources and study guides recommended. Most exams will point you in the appropriate direction, and some may also tell you what general topics are covered. They will also explain what to bring on the day of the exam. Several years ago, I was taking an exam and did not bring a calculator, even though I would’ve been allowed to use one. It made the math portion of the exam much more difficult.

Some exams are open book, but that does not mean they are easier. Sometimes they are harder, so you need to study for these exams, too. Read through the reference material and know where all the information is located. Although you do not need to memorize the information, you will definitely need to know where to find it.

Do not skim over questions and jump to what you think is the right answer. Take your time, and read the questions carefully. Generally, you will have plenty of time to take the exam, so use that time to your advantage — you do not get any extra points for finishing early, so again, do not rush.

When confronted with a difficult question, I find it best to start off by eliminating what you know to be the wrong answers. Then think about why the remaining answers would be wrong instead of right. It is kind of like working backwards on a problem. But when you are really stuck on a question, skip over it, and come back to it later. It helps to get all the easy questions answered first and come back to the difficult ones at the end. But make sure you remember to come back to the questions. Do not leave any question unanswered — guess if you need to.

Exams are a necessary part of our industry, and if you’re a technician, it’s important for you to take them.

The more certifications you have, the better, and it can only elevate your status within this industry. So, strive to take and pass as many of these certification exams as you can — it is definitely a badge of honor.

Publication date: 4/30/2018

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